War and Peace is this chimerical Texas songwriter's first solo effort in nine years, and, as he said, he hoped the lyrics would be moot by the time it was finished, unfortunately this is not the case. The wars around the world still rage on and people are dying, thus unfortunately for us all, his hope did not come to pass. Things just seem to be out of control and people who should be taking responsibility are not facing the number of wasted lives that are on their hands. On this disc his lyrics are to the point and he does not pull up from questioning all kinds of authority, no matter who or what they represent. His sharp wit and riveting way of getting to the point are only growing sharper and more cutting as he gains more time in reflection and his craftsmanship as a songwriter has been honed to a fine point. His ability to twist the words and have them go through acrobatic maneuvers has been finely honed with the passing of years.
Though your first comment might be something along the lines of, "Oh this is such a political disc" (and it most definitely is very imbued with his politics and sense of freedom for all), this is quite true, however, musically it is also a fine piece of work. Hancock was known as a folksinger and came to be better known as one of The Flatlanders, a legendary West Texas band of musicians, while working with his running pardners Joe Ely and Jimmy Dale Gilmore. On this disc he shows his musical flexibility by playing nine instruments (with great acuity) as well as singing and doing harmonies. The only others to appear on the disc are Rob Gjersoe on electric guitars, and then Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore doing harmony vocals on two of the songs. Butch's voice has the familiar weather worn timbre of old barn-wood that has been soaking up the entire out of doors for a great many years. It is still worn and just kind of wraps around you. A disc to savor for both its politics, wordplay, humor, and musical spaces.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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